Simple Marine Electronics Troubleshooting Tips

With the fishing tournament season winding down and year end classic/championships starting up it is important to make sure your electronics are working 100% for these big money events. Over the summer we have had countless anglers come in with units they are having problems with. The good news is the solutions to those problems are quick and painless in most cases. Here are the three things we ran across most this season. 

Check to see what software version you are running

At the tournaments we visited this year the number one solution to the majority of problems was updating the software on units running outdated versions. The process for downloading the updates is very simple. All you need is a blank SD card (DO NOT USE YOUR NAVIONICS MAP), a computer with an internet connection, and card reader. Detailed instructions can be found at the following links.

Lowrance’s Software webpage. Click the model you own and follow the steps listed to download the update

Follow this link to the Lowrance Software Updates page –> Lowrance Updates

Humminbird requires you to register online for an account before you can access their software updates

Follow this link to the Lowrance Software Updates page –> Humminbird Updates

Another problem we noticed this year were anglers having trouble with their units near the end of the day when they go to crank the engine. After a full day of fishing with livewells and other electronics going, the main cranking batteries often barely have enough power to crank the engine over. If you have been in the situation where your units shut off or do funny things when you crank the engine near the end of the day it’s a good idea to look at your power source and upgrade it.

I ran two 8” screens, one 5” screen, NMEA2000 network, livewells, bilge, etc off my group 31 1000 cranking amp battery and never had any issues. If you have a smaller cranking battery like a group 24 or 27 I highly recommend upgrading to a larger one. The electronics today are much more voltage dependant than in the past and power sources need to be upgraded accordingly.

A work around solution if you notice this problem while you are in the middle of a tournament is to turn your units off, crank the engine, then turn the units back on. Obviously this isn’t the best solution but it will get you going for the time being. A better solution would be to look at your battery and get the biggest you can fit in your boat.

Lowrance Restore Defaults Menu

If you are on the water and you run into any other issue the first thing to do is reset the options on your unit. On a Lowrance you want to press Menu twice, go to System (or System Setup), then go to Restore Defaults. This will bring your unit back to factory settings and not delete waypoints. If that doesn’t solve the problem a hard reset is in order. To do this, turn the unit off, then press, ZIN ZOUT PWR all at the same time, hold the keys until the warning message appears on the screen. THIS WILL DELETE ALL WAYPOINTS, TRAILS, ICONs, ETC – back them up first.

Humminbird Restore Defaults Menu

On Humminbird units its much the same as Lowrance, press Menu twice, go to System, then go to Restore Defaults. THIS WILL DELETE ALL WAYPOINTS, TRAILS, ICONs, ETC – back them up first.

These are the easiest solutions to the majority of problems we run across at Radioworld. If you are experiencing any other issues feel free to email us for some other troubleshooting tips!






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